Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Vacation rendezvous is over; staying in touch is up to him
Q: I met someone on a vacation and we had an amazing time for two weeks. I felt like I made a real connection, and he said he wanted to stay in touch, was sad when I left, etc. We talked for hours and did activities together, cooked together and got along so comfortably. There was some small amount of "intimacy" at the end of the trip.
I e-mailed a week after the trip and asked if he wanted to get together on the next leg of his travels, and he said he'd let me know. He wrote again to reiterate that. I then wrote and sent him some photos. He has been out of touch for about 18 days now, though he is still traveling. I do not think anything happened to him because he updated a blog.
I sort of know what to do — maybe write a while later, accept the result if he stays out of touch. The thing I do not know is how to deal with my feelings that I was deceived. I am also not sure what I would have done differently. All of my judgment said, "This person is kind, generous, upstanding and sincerely interested in me." I am 30, not 17. Is the solution to revisit my judgment?
Little Town in Costa Rica
A: There's a lot of room between staying in touch forever with this guy and having been deceived. You and he could have had a very real connection. Not all of those go anywhere, and certainly they aren't proven retroactively by your staying in touch.
Yes, sure, maybe he did use and deceive you. However, for all you know, he's got happy memories and a slow-to-dawn conviction that staying in touch would never work for X, Y or Z reason. Maybe he's hoping you'll see, too, that your fortnight was great for what it was.
Regardless — since the ball is so clearly in his court, I wouldn't write or send photos unless you hear from him. Or use quotation marks around "intimacy."
Put an end to friend's preschool bashing
Q: I'm in a playgroup with seven women. We have been gathering since the kids were 6 weeks old, and now all the kids are starting preschool. One of the moms looked at the school my son is going to and hated it. Fine, that's why there is chocolate and vanilla; not everything works for everyone.
But she can't stop talking about it. Even told another mom in the group that she has to "intervene because I can't send my son there." Huh? It's a licensed, accredited, fully reliable preschool.
It shouldn't be a big deal, but it's really starting to make me mad and I think totally ruining our friendship. I've responded 100 times that I think I made the right choice. How do I make this nonsense stop!
A: You: "Do you have some concrete reason to believe my child will come to harm at this preschool?"
She: Whatever she has to say. ("No," I presume.)
You: "Thank you. Now I need to ask that we close this issue, out of respect for each other's competence as mothers."
Sometimes you have to spell it out.